It’s well after Labor Day, which means that more jobs are being posted as the job market slowly picks back up. So now’s the perfect time to put some energy into making your job hunt count.
And to be sure you’re ready to hit the ground running—and snag the right job for you—check out these tips from Emmelie De La Cruz, a personal branding expert and author of Make Yourself Marketable.
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1. Start Now
Sure, fall doesn’t technically begin until next week, but don’t let that stop you from getting a head start on the competition. Cruz says to take advantage of this time—when your competition may still be recovering from summer downtime.
Right away, make sure your resume is updated with your most current roles and accomplishments, your profile picture reflects your current look, your online portfolio shows your latest and best work and your social profiles don’t scare away hiring managers.
2. Grow Your Twitter Followers
One thing employers look for—especially if you’re going after jobs in media—is your social following. “Unfortunately in media and marketing, follower counts have become some sort of credibility factor,” says Cruz.
To up your follower count, start with a headshot and an elevator pitch as your bio. Then use your posts to increase your value. “Posting consistently and sharing information that your peers and colleagues will find valuable is what will get you a larger following,” says Cruz.
And, if you’re looking for a little shortcut, Cruz recommends conducting a Twitter chat, an easy way to “engage with your audience, grow your following and share your expertise,” she says.
3. Create a Twesume
Using Twitter Ads, create what’s called a Twesume—a Twitter resume that explains your background, skills and what you’re looking for in your career—and target the exact people you’re looking to get in front of.
When Cruz was job hunting, she wanted to increase her visibility with professionals, recruiters and hiring managers in the communications industry. She successfully executed this by creating a Twitter ad targeting people who followed accounts like New York Women in Communications Inc. and ColorComm.
“While it didn’t automatically get me a job,” says Cruz, “it put me in front of the right people, got my Linkedin profile seen and increased my Twitter following with people in my industry.”
4. Get Alerted When the Right Job Comes Along
Between resume updates, portfolio tweaks, interview prep and every other time-consuming job search task, you run the risk of missing out on a great job opening.
For this, Cruz recommends using Warble, a software that sends customized alerts from Twitter to your inbox daily. You might add parameters such as “now hiring” or “seeking copywriter,” and you can tweak as you go.
And another tool you don’t want to forget is Mediabistro’s Job Alerts. Just set it once, customizing the alert to the exact type of role you’re looking for, and watch your tailored job alerts come rolling in.
5. Think LinkedIn
While you’re scouting the job boards looking for your next gig, recruiters are scouting LinkedIn for their next hire. This is why Cruz recommends having a LinkedIn outreach plan in place: Make it easy for people to find you, and once they discover you, make sure they’re impressed.
“LinkedIn is a search engine and you need to think like a recruiter,” says Cruz. So when developing the content for your LinkedIn page—including your headline and summary—you should be trying to figure out what search terms a recruiter might use to find somebody like you.
And once a recruiter does make it to your LinkedIn page, impress them with a complete and well-crafted profile that clearly states your skills and accomplishments, passions and career goals.